Computer Security & Information Assurance
Program Academic Focus
Center of Academic Excellence in Digital Forensics and Cyber Defense Education
Norwich University is one of very few academic institutions to be designated as both a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (since 2001, by the National Security Agency of the United States of America) and a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (since 2012, by the Defense Cyber Crime Center of the United States Air Force Office of Special Operations). These designations recognize Norwich’s significant contribution in meeting the national demand for digital-forensics and information-assurance education, developing a growing number of professionals with expertise in both areas, and ultimately contributing to the protection of the national critical information infrastructure.
Each student has an individually-assigned faculty adviser from their very first day on campus. The faculty adviser assists in the development of an individualized academic program designed to meet the student's career goals. The student and the faculty adviser work together to keep the student's program on track throughout their enrollment at Norwich. Committed to strong ties linking the classroom, the computer labs, and the real world, this program focuses extensively on the practical application of classroom work to solving real-world problems in forensics and information assurance and emphasis on professionalism and ethics in students' careers.
Instructors in this program utilize extensive real-world experiences when helping students become security professionals. Students learn to consider their fellow-employees as clients whose needs are to be heard and responded to effectively and efficiently.
The Computer Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) major provides a foundation of study in computer programming, digital forensics and information assurance, as well as in the liberal arts, mathematics, management, and the sciences. Students integrate knowledge from these disciplines to enter organizations with both practical, functional capabilities and an enterprise perspective. The curriculum of the major complies with the standards defined by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) required by the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC). During their sophomore Spring, sophomore CSIA majors must choose at least one of the two available areas of specialization (called concentrations) – Forensics or Information Assurance Management (students can successfully complete both by taking a few additional courses per semester).
The Forensics Concentration prepares graduates for practical application of current forensics theory, ethics, techniques, skills, and tools for all levels of digital-incident investigation relevant to solving policy violations and crimes. Students learn and apply foundational concepts, terminology and techniques ranging from the extraction and analysis of digital evidence, its sources and communication, to process-, system- and program-design.
The Information Assurance (IA) Management Concentration prepares graduates to analyze requirements and implement measures to protect information confidentiality, control, integrity, authenticity, availability, and utility, and to maintain their technical and managerial competence in the face of ever-changing requirements and technology. Students integrate concepts, terminology, and techniques from information assurance, operations management, organizational psychology, and management principles for the effective development, implementation and management of IA in organizations. Students learn always to consider context, mission and organizational priorities when working on information security.
To develop in or provide for students
Foundational competency in liberal arts, mathematics, management, the sciences, and computer programming;
An understanding and appreciation for the evolving nature and role of technology at all levels of society;
An understanding of individual privacy rights and the impact of large-scale data collection and interconnected data sources;
Multiple, differing perspectives on information security;
Ethical decision-making principles for deciding how best to implement information assurance in all environments;
Integrated knowledge and practical skills in digital forensics and information assurance;
An appreciation for the organizational importance and applications of digital forensics and information assurance;
Advanced specialization in the theory, practice, and application, of digital forensics or information-assurance management;
Preparation to participate effectively with computer-security professionals in multiple environments, such as industry, government, military, and academia;
A multidisciplinary perspective coupled with the commitment to integrate human factors for success in defending information resources; and,
Readiness for continuing, perpetual education in a constantly changing field.
Additional Program Information
The CSIA curriculum provides a balanced foundation of both information assurance and digital forensics. The Information Assurance Management concentration emphasizes upper-level coursework associated with implementation, management and support of corporate networks, information, and cyber defense programs. The Forensics concentration emphasizes upper-level coursework on the skills, practices and policies of digital forensics and cyber-investigation. Norwich students can specialize in both areas. All organizations need professionals with either skill set. However, there is a tendency for IA Management to be more oriented toward careers with for-profit commercial and non-profit public organizations, and for Forensics to be more oriented toward careers with federal, state, and local government agencies. Students' elective course choices further widen the career opportunities open to them. Potential careers include:
Computer Network Defense
Cyber-Crime Investigation & Analysis
Cyber-Incident Analysis & Response
Cyber-Warfare and National Security
Information Systems/Technology Management
Law Enforcement (federal, state, tribal, local)
Legal Studies and Practice of Law as attorneys